One of Seattle’s biggest film festivals is back for the 17th year…the Seattle Jewish Film Festival opens (tonight) Thursday, March 15, 2012 at the Cinerama with the opening night gala, MABUL/The Flood and continues for the next 10 days. This year’s theme: L’chaim! (To Life!) with films exploring all aspects of Jewish culture including the Jewish LGBTQ community with the March 22nd screening of “Let My People Go” at 7pm at the SIFF Cinema at The Uptown. Here’s a lot of info on the Festival:
Opening Night: MABUL / THE FLOOD opens the festival Thursday, March 15 at Cinerama at 6:45 p.m. As Yoni prepares for his Bar Mitzvah, his autistic older brother Tomer (Michael Moshonov in an award-winning performance) unexpectedly returns home, forcing the entire family to cope with his presence. Ronit Elkabetz (The Band’s Visit) and Tzahi Grad (Eyes Wide Open) star in this powerful family drama that garnered awards in Haifa and Berlin. The film is followed by a special Opening Night Event: Tom Douglas After Party at the Palace Ballroom, 2100 5th Avenue, Seattle.Closing Night Centerpiece Concert and Film: Seattle’s acclaimed Northwest Boychoir, directed by Joseph Crnko, gives a live performance that includes excerpts from the remarkable music and words they brought to vivid life in the film. MUSIC OF REMEMBRANCE artistic director Mina Miller introduces this memorable evening.THE BOYS OF TEREZIN, immediately follows the performance. Risking their lives, a 100 teenage boys incarcerated at the Terezin concentration camp created stories, poems and illustrations for a secret magazine, Vedem. Most perished, but the pages were miraculously preserved. After 65 years, four surviving “boys of Terezin” reunite in Seattle for Music of Remembrance’s premiere of a new oratorio inspired by their courage, idealism and passionate resistance.MoreIn honor and celebration of Seattle’s unique heritage — having the third largest Sephardic Jewish population in the US hailing from Turkey and Greece — The 17th annual Festival features five films focusing on Sephardic Life, in all its diversity, demography and distinguished history.FILM SERIES
- THE FLOOD: Opening Night Film, Thurs. March 15, 6:45 p.m., Cinerama
- MY SWEET CANARY: Sun. March 18, 1:15 p.m., AMC Pacific Place. Speaker: Professor Devin Naar, followed by an echar lashon (“coffee klatch”) for ticket-holders only.
- AJC Bridge Series Showcase: FREE MEN: Sun. March 18, 8 p.m., AMC Pacific Place
- IRAQ N’ROLL: Mon. March 19, 8:30 p.m., SIFF Cinema at the Uptown
- MY LOVELY SISTER: Sun. March 25 4:45 p.m., SIFF Cinema at the Uptown. Plays with THE FIG TREE.Other highlights include:
- Matzoh Momma Catering proudly hosts SJFF’s Annual Sunday Brunch before the screening of CIRCUS KIDS. March 18, (brunch) 9:30 a.m., followed a performance by members of the Circus Kids featured in the film at 10:45 a.m. and the film at 11 a.m.
- In FREE MEN, an Algerian (Tahar Rahim, A Prophet) making a living on the black markets of World War II Paris is arrested then recruited by the police to spy on a local mosque suspected of hiding Jews and issuing false identity papers. The mosque’s charismatic imam (Michael Lonsdale) and a budding Jewish cabaret singer (Mahmud Shalaby, Jaffa, SJFF 2010) steer him into the Resistance instead. (March 18, 8 p.m.)
- LET MY PEOPLE GO, is an absurdist journey laced with humor that both celebrates and sends up gay and Jewish stereotypes. Ruben (Nicolas Maury) is a Frenchman working as a postman in idlyllic small-town Finland and living with his blond boyfriend Teemu. After a delivery gone awry leads to their breakup, Ruben finds himself back in Paris, balancing the expectations of his devout Jewish parents (Carmen Maura, WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN and VOLVER, plays his mother) and immersed in family melodrama. (March 22, 7 p.m.)
- The festival runs March 15-25 and a full schedule of screenings, special events and guests is available at www.jewishfilmfestival.org
- View the festival trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/
- Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.
seattlejewishfilmfestival.org/or by calling the ticket hotline at 206.324.9996 tickets